FTX Cleared to Sell Its Stake in AI Startup Anthropic

Tanzeel Akhtar
Last updated: | 1 min read
Source: Midjourney

Bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX has been permitted to sell its shares in the artificial intelligence firm Anthropic, according to an issue ordered by U.S. Federal Judge John Dorsey on Thursday.

FTX invested $500 million back in Anthropic in 2021 and holds a 7.84% stake in the company, according to court documents. The Delaware judge has approved FTX’s proposal to sell the shares after the bankrupt exchange reached a compromise in court with a group of FTX customers that had opposed the sale.

What is Anthropic

There has been huge hype around artificial intelligence startups. Anthropic was founded by Daniela and Dario Amodei, who previously worked at the firm OpenAI and could IPO soon.

“Anthropic has followed a similar path as OpenAI, raising $1.6 billion in funding as of August 2023. It recently released its competitor to ChatGPT, Claude 2. The Claude 2 chatbot is a generative text platform trained using data scraped from the internet combined with human feedback,’ according to a MarketBeat report.

The company has also released a faster and cheaper model for businesses called “Claude Instant,” which also features constitutional AI designed to reduce brand risk.

Anthropic Valuation at $18.4 Billion

In December, Anthropic is in discussions to raise $750 million in a funding round led by Menlo Ventures. This funding round would then value Anthropic at $18.4 billion, nearly 4.5 times the startup’s $4.1 billion valuation earlier this year.

This value has sparked hope among victims of the FTX collapse, as FTX anticipates having sufficient funds to fully repay all customer and creditor claims.

On February 11, FTX Debtor’s estate, under the leadership of CEO John Ray III, initiated the process of selling Digital Custody Inc. (DCI) to CoinList. FTX had previously acquired the subsidiary in two separate transactions, one in December 2021 and the other in August 2022, for a total of $10 million, as reported by Ruholamin Haqshanas at Cryptonews.

Now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX has been embroiled in a legal battle that could extend over several years as creditors seek to recover over $8 billion.  The case, filed in November, involves multiple parties fighting over the remaining assets, making it more complex and time-consuming than other crypto bankruptcies, according to Alan R. Rosenberg, a partner at Markowitz Ringel Trusty & Hartog.

FTX has expressed it has intention to repay all its creditors and has been actively seeking to divest some of its subsidiaries as part of the ongoing bankruptcy process.